(Last Updated on : 22/05/2010)
The imperialistic operations of the British colonialists in India led to the growth and popularity of the communal organizations. A communal organization though primarily organizes to promote the interests of a particular community also indirectly promoted the British imperial interests. The communal organizations at the same time served personal ambitions of the opportunistic leadership. Several communal organizations came into existences in the 20th century owing to the imperial interests of the British. Hindu Mahasabha, Muslim League, Akali Dal and the All India Depressed Classes Federation etc were some of the communal organizations of the period.
The early history of the emergence of the Hindu Mahasabha is shrouded in darkness. In 1910, the leading Hindus of the Allahabad decided to organize an All India Hindu Conference. It was first established in Amritsar in the Punjab before 1914, and became active during the 1920s under the leadership of Pandit Mohan Malaviya (1861-1946) and Lala Lajpat Rai (1865-1928). The Hindu Mahasabha established in Punjab campaigned for social reform and for the reconversion of Hindus from Islam. The Hindu Mahasabha established its headquarter at Haridwar and used to organize the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu conference at Haridwar on the occasion of important Hindu fairs.
Several socio-political problems led to the emergence of the Hindu Mahasabha as a communal organization. The communal riots particularly in the Malabar Coast and Multan followed the suspension of the first Non co-operation Movement in 1922 caused. This incurred heavy losses to the Hindus both in human lives and property. Consequently a section of Hindus decided to organize the Hindus with solemn aim of self-defence. Explaining the basis of the Hindu Mahasabha, Madan Mohan Malaviya explained that the Mohammedans and the Christians had been carrying on proselytizing activities for long. He also added that most of the Muslims in India were the converts from Hinduism. To put end to the conversion process, it was necessary to organize a Hindu mission. Malaviya further explained that as a counterattack to the Muslim League, that put forward exaggerated claims for the Muslim representation in the elected bodies, it was necessary to organize the Hindus in order to gain a fair deal for their community. Thus Shuddhi and Sangathan became the motto of the Hindu Mahasabha in the early years of its establishment. Malaviya also emphasized the socio-cultural missions of the Hindu Mahasabha.
The Indian National congress being a political organization, it could not deal with the socio-cultural and the non-political sphere. Therefore Hindu Mahasabha was organized with the aim to s remove the social abuses in the Hindu society. The removal of child marriage, casteism, untouchability etc was the principal concerns of the Hindu Mahasabha.
The historians have opined that the claims of the Hindu Mahasabha, as a communal organization were no less hypocritical than the Muslim League or Akali Dal or the other communal organization. Under the leadership of V.D Savarkar, s the Hindu Mahasabha developed a political programme. V.D Savarkar became s the s President of the Hindu Mahasabha in the year 1938 and was re-elected again and again. Savarkar being angry of the Muslim demand for a separate Muslim state, also laid a campaign to popularize the concept of the Hindu Rashtra. Savarkar hold that India was as a land of the Hindus and maintained that India was a one nation i.e. the Hindu nation. Savarkar also added that the Muslims must accept their position as a minority community in the in a single Indian state. Of course the Muslims were promised just treatment and equal political rights on the basis of "one man one vote". Savarkar upheld that , on the question of the national languages, the language of the majority would prevail on the basis of the democratic practices.
However the Hindu Mahasabha never gained that popularity with the Hindu masses as the Muslims League did with the Muslims in India. As a whole, the Hindu Mahasabha organized their slogan against Muslim League's demands for the separate Muslim state of Pakistan. Hence the sole emphasis of the Hindu Mahasabha was to constitute an "Akhand Hindustan".
The propaganda of the Hindu Mahasabha for a Hindu race, Hindu Culture, Hindu civilization, and Hindu Rashtra solidified the league's attitude. The league became more determined in its demand for Pakistan.